Sergio Aguero is set to head a three-man list of returning stars when Manchester City take on Everton on Saturday.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini could welcome back captain Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko, as well as Aguero, for the trip to Merseyside after the trio all recovered from injuries.
Striker Aguero will be the main boost to Pellegrini, who had been forced to use James Milner as a makeshift striker at times over the hectic Christmas period.
The Argentine has returned to outdoor training and, according to the Manchester Evening News, is in line to make his first team return against the team he suffered his injury against.
Having damaged his medial collateral ligament against the Toffees in early December, Aguero was expected to be out for roughly six weeks, with Pellegrini saying at the time that his star man could even be absent for eight weeks.
Should Aguero make the squad on Saturday he'll be a week ahead of schedule, and back in time for a gruelling run of fixtures that will see City take on Arsenal and joint-leaders Chelsea before the month is out.
Aguero's swift recovery from the injury will delight Pellegrini and City fans, but the player himself has erred on the side of caution ahead of any possible return.
The 14-goal striker spoke about his injury recovery on his official Twitter on Monday, saying: "I wanted you to know I’ve already started field work. Slowly but surely I’ll be back at the right moment. Thanks for the wishes!”
Aguero's initial injury coincided with Dzeko's return to Pellegrini's first team plans, but after rushed back into the startling line up for a crucial Champions League tie with Roma, the Bosnian striker broke down during the warm up ahead of a Premier League clash with Leicester.
However, like Aguero, Dzeko could return to the City squad that travels to Goodison Park this weekend, meaning Pellegrini's striker crisis, and Milner's days as a makeshift number nine, are well and truly over.
Joining the two strikers in the City squad could be club captain Kompany, who has fully recovered from calf and hamstring problems that have kept him out of the last five fixtures.
There was talk of the big defender being fit to take on Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the FA Cup last weekend, but with so many important games on the horizon the Belgian was not risked.
However, a week on Kompany will fully expect to be included in Pellegrini's plans, although he'll have to work hard to break the ever-improving partnership of Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis.
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